U of M, Minneapolis Schools and Others Cut Ties with Police Department

Several institutions plan to cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) in response to the alleged murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died while in police custody on Memorial Day.

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel informed students last week that the school will no longer contract with the MPD for large events, like football games and concerts, or specialized law enforcement services, such as K-9 explosive detection units.

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Commentary: America’s Small Business Owners Have Been Horribly Abused During These Riots and Lockdowns

For nearly 20 years, Bridget McGinty and her sister ran Tastebuds, a popular lunch spot in downtown Cleveland.

On May 1, she made the torturous decision to close it forever after keeping it on life support for weeks after being closed due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.

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More Active-Duty Troops Leaving D.C., Others Remain on Alert

Nearly 500 of the active-duty troops brought in to help if needed with the civil unrest in the nation’s capitol have been given orders to leave Washington after a fourth day of largely peaceful protests, Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy and other officials said Friday.

But a number of other active-duty soldiers remain on alert in the region, prepared to respond if needed.

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Twitter Disables Trump Campaign’s George Floyd Video Tribute

Jack Dorsey

Twitter has blocked a Trump campaign video tribute to George Floyd over a copyright claim, in a move that adds to tensions between the social media platform and the U.S. president, one of its most widely followed users.

The company put a label on a video posted by the @TeamTrump account that said, “This media has been disabled in response to a claim by the copyright owner.” The video was still up on President Donald Trump’s YouTube channel and includes pictures of Floyd, whose death sparked widespread protests, at the start.

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Commentary: Social Justice Cancels Social Distancing

And just like that, social distancing is canceled. At least for some.

After submitting to house arrest orders for the past three months in order to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Americans may have noticed a slight change in the rules this past week. There are no duct-taped outlines on city streets telling unruly mobs protesting the death of George Floyd where to stand. Rioters are not instructed to loot stores in opposite directions on downtown streets in order to avoid contact. Face coverings are optional but certainly useful when attempting to avoid identification by local law enforcement.

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Kanye West Attends Chicago Protest, Donates $2M to Victims

Kanye West has donated $2 million to support the families and legal teams for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

A representative for the rapper confirmed that some of the money donated would fully cover college tuition costs for Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. Floyd died last month after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes as he pleaded for air.

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Five Democratic Senators Kneel at George Floyd Memorial

Five Democrat senators knelt during a moment of silence for George Floyd in a caucus meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday afternoon.

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) knelt, which lasted for eight minutes and 46 seconds, The Hill reported. That was the length of time fired Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck before he died. Chauvin faces a second-degree murder charge over the incident.

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Chinese Dissident Xu Zhiyong to be Honored by PEN America

Xu Zhiyong, a prominent Chinese activist and legal scholar detained by the government since earlier this year, is being honored by PEN America.

The literary and human rights organization announced Thursday that Xu is this year’s winner of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, which recognizes those imprisoned for free expression and previously has been given to dissidents everywhere from Cuba to Turkey. Xu’s award comes on the 31st anniversary of the so-called Tiananmen Square Massacre, when Chinese soldiers shot and killed pro-democracy demonstrators.

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Andy Ngo Files Lawsuit Seeking $900,000 from Rose City Antifa for 2019 Assaults

Independent journalist Andy Ngo is suing a Portland-based Antifa cell and several specific individuals nearly a year after he was brutally assaulted by a mob of black clad, masked agitators.

Ngo is seeking $900,000 in damages “for assault, battery, emotional distress and racketeering by those who acted to ‘suppress Ngo’s journalism through intimidation and violence,’ and for “ongoing neurological and health issues,” the Portland Tribune reported. A PDF of the lawsuit is here.

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Districts Jettison School Police Officers Amid Protests

An increasing number of cities are rethinking the presence of school resource officers as they respond to the concerns of thousands of demonstrators — many of them young — who have filled the streets night after night to protest the death of George Floyd.

Portland Public Schools, Oregon’s largest school district, on Thursday cut its ties with the Portland Police Bureau, joining other urban districts from Minneapolis to Denver that are mulling the fate of such programs. Protesters in some cities, including Portland, have demanded the removal of the officers from schools.

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May Jobs Report: 2.5 Million Jobs Gained, Unemployment Falls to 13.3 Percent

The U.S. economy gained 2.5 million jobs in May, while the unemployment declined to 13.3%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 2.1 million to 21.0 million.

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Minneapolis Bans Police Chokeholds, Neck Restraints in Wake of George Floyd Death

Minneapolis agreed Friday to ban chokeholds by police and to require officers to try to stop any other officers they see using improper force, in the first concrete steps to remake the city’s police department since George Floyd’s death.

The changes are part of a stipulation between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which launched a civil rights investigation this week in response to the death of Floyd. The City Council approved the agreement 12-0.

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DFL Lawmakers Want State and Federal Aid to Rebuild Minneapolis

DFL lawmakers want the state and federal governments to chip in to help repair the estimated $55 million in damage caused to Minneapolis in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and the Legislature’s People of Color and Indigenous Caucus called for “immediate legislative funding for Minneapolis and St. Paul rebuilding efforts” in a joint statement.

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